POLL: How often do you buy a new Mac or computer?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by christall109, Jun 23, 2008.


How often do you buy a new Mac?

  1. Once a year. (I have the greatest and latest)

    11 vote(s)
  2. About once every 2 years as long as it doesn't break the bank.

    43 vote(s)
  3. A few years for me (3 or more).. I want to get my moneys worth.

    90 vote(s)
  4. I'm still using the original Apple II or Macintosh

    6 vote(s)
  1. christall109 macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2007
    I know a lot of us here are compulsive Mac Hardware buyers and it always seems that everyone has the latest and greatest hardware, while leaving me behind. So my question is simple - Just how often do you buy a new mac?
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    LC 575, iMac DV, Core 2 iMac

    Those are our gaps.

    I still have and use my Apple ][, though.
  3. heatmiser macrumors 68020

    Dec 6, 2007
    I couldn't vote, as I've gone from buying a computer, on avg, every two months, to planning to keep one for more than five years.

    Last year, I bought six laptops. At the end of the year, I was tired of switching, and resolved to stick to one computer.
    So I bought a Macbook in December, and plan to keep it for seven years (12/2014). Six months in, so far, so good.
  4. christall109 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2007
    I'm very curious to see the results. In an industry that rapidly changes all the time, I've always wondered how many people keep up on it. In accordance with Moore's Law, I wonder if a trend of people buying a computer will match in that they buy a computer about every two years.

    Myself, I was on a 10 year old Dell laptop, before I buckled down (got parents approval after nagging) to get a new laptop. I chose the MacBook Pro and I probably see myself using it for the next few years.

    I got the new iMac when my dad was up at 2AM in the morning trying to remove a virus that turned our 8 year old desktop into a very big mess. I casually said to him when I came and discovered he was still up, "You know dad, if we had a mac you wouldn't have this problem." My dad turned to me, eyes glossed over from hours of staring at the blue screen of death, and said, "You're Dam right." That weekend we bought the iMac.
  5. Thorbjorn macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2008
    About once every five years for desktop, and same for laptop. Much though I may lust, I can't justify a new one until my current one is no longer viable (which means usually still working fine but getting too jammed to run newer operating system and software).
  6. mojohanna macrumors 6502a


    Jul 7, 2004
    I buy every few years. My cycle was this, Mac Classic (512mb version) 6 years later Performa 180 (piece of crap machine), 3 years later I got my dad's old G4 450. Nice machine but couldn't keep up, its my son's now. 4 years ago I got by G5. I would like to buy more often, but the wife is the sticking point.
    My issue now is needing a laptop and a desktop.

    Once the new Macbooks arrive, I am going to pick up one of those and hopefully replace the G5 next year sometime. Probably with an iMac. The only thing I ever upgraded in the G5 was memory and added a drive. I think it will become a file server for me to store photos and music etc. I don't know, we'll see.
  7. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    Well, over the last few years it has been at least one machine a year - but I live and breathe computers, working on them day and night, so it's hardly surprising really. I need a selection of different form factors and capabilities to give me some semblance of a life ;)
  8. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    Industry (and IRS) standards have pretty much settled on a three-year cycle, for everything from laptops to servers (which used to be seven, IIRC). It has nothing to do with Moore's Law, but more to do with economics & productivity. An individual machine can be depreciated over a three-year schedule now, so why hang on to something that's no longer giving a tax break? As well, many apps increase in minimum spec, so that after three years you can expect to find many "required" apps not being able to be run on your old box.

    When I cycle my machines (and I use the three-year cycle pretty closely), the new one goes to me, the current machine gets moved to my wife, and the one she's been on (now six years old) gets donated out.
  9. flyinmac macrumors 68040


    Sep 2, 2006
    United States
    Depends for me. How fast did the last one die? That determines when I buy a new one.

    If it's reliable and keeps going and doing what I want, then probably 3 to 5 years.

    If it dies, then I take a break and assess whether the current model is reliable enough (as in low complaint rate) to purchase now. If not, I wait. It yes, then I buy.

    In short, the faster they die, the sooner I replace them. But, I'll only replace it with another Mac if I don't think the current model will die too soon.

    As long as it keeps working, and as long as it does what I want, I'll keep using it.

    Don't worry about whether there's a better one out there. If yours is still working, and it does what you want then it's pretty good :D
  10. JML42691 macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2007
    For me it is a different scenario, this is my first mac, so I don't really know how often I will replace it, but with PCs, I would replace them about every 18-24 months. With the difference in prices, I expect to keep my MacBook as my main computer for about 30 months, but then again, as it is my first Mac, I do not really know. So that places me with about another 23 months with this Mac. But we will have to wait and see.
  11. nsbio macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    3.5 yo Powerbook is stil perfectly adequate for being my main daily computer. My G5 iMac is 2 years old. Unless some unexpected breakdown happens, I am not planning to replace these computers anytime soon.
  12. seamuskrat macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2003
    New Jersey USA
    I do a two year cycle alternating desktop and laptop. So each model stay with me for four years but I get the luxury of the latest every two years. I also help some family members stay current, so I end up purchasing a new Mac for someone every year.
  13. skye12 macrumors 65816


    Nov 11, 2006
    Austin, Tx
    With the more and more frequent chip evolution by Intel, I expect to
    upgrade more often than in the past. 2 or 3 years WAS reasonable, but
    now I expect every 1 or 1.5 years an upgrade will be in the cards.

    It might make the most financial sense to sell your current mac every
    year or so, before depreciation gets too bad and the computer
    is still adequate performance wise.
  14. queshy macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    Interesting thread!

    For me, I'd say every 2 years I'll replace everything.

    My current machine is a white 24" iMac which I got in January 2007. Truthfully, I would have upgraded by now if something really great came along but honestly, the new iMacs aren't all that tempting. The aluminum is nice but it's not enough reason to upgrade. The glossy screen is a step back IMO. I don't game, and for the stuff I do the C2D w/ 2GB ram is very adequate. We have Alu iMacs in the house (including one penryn iMac) and I really can't tell a difference.

    However, I am confident that by January 2008 something great will be out in terms of the iMac line - newer design perhaps, noticeably faster, better (not necessarily more) features, etc. At that time, if it's interesting, I'll upgrade. I was thinking I'd get a new computer once Snow Leopard comes out.

    Before my iMac, I had an HP mediacenter PC for around 2 years, I think slightly more. it was a P4 w/ 512 mb ram upgraded to 1.5 GB after a year. IT was OK, but the imac is clearly superior.

    Before that, I had a Dell dimension desktop for maybe 3-4 years. And before that, I didn't have my own computer :p

    In terms of laptops, same thing - about 2 years, probably a bit more if there's nothing interesting. I had bought a MacBook Pro in August and then the Air came out in January and I liked it so much that I sold my MBP and got the Air. I don't really consider it an "upgrade" per se because I didn't have to pay anything. It was more of a "switch". Lucky for me, Macs have great resale value so even if I can get a few hundred for my 24" iMac in a years time I'll be happy!

    Skye12. I'd have to agree with you. I would have sold my 24" iMac by now and upgraded but truthfully I don't really want the new iMac so the upgrade wouldn't be worth it for me. My MacBook Pro was maybe 6 months old max and I sold it for 200$ less than I paid for it. 200$ in 6 months...33$ a month....to have a great machine...how can we complain?
  15. valdore macrumors 65816


    Jan 9, 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri. USA

    Also, the current aluminum iMac form factor just came out in August of 07 - it's not going to be replaced anytime soon.
  16. Indohottie macrumors 6502


    Mar 1, 2004
    Every couple years.. kinda depends on when new stuff that looks interesting to me is available..

    I do buy the mac accessories pretty much more often.. ie airport express, extremes, apple TV, new ipods
  17. queshy macrumors 68040


    Apr 2, 2005
    by January of 2009, why not? almost a year and a half. Even though the previous design was pretty old (the white one), it still got refined. iSight added, casing made thinner (I believe). Sure, I don't think a major redesign will come about, but it may definitely be improved upon.
  18. tsice19 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 16, 2008
    In 2003, when I was 9, our family upgraded from our PIII IBM PC, to a new Dell. At the time, it was pretty good, considering it had an 80GB HD, 512MB of RAM, and a P4 2.6 processor.

    Then, last year, I got a PC of my own (no more sharing with family!). It was a Dell, had ongoing problems, etc; etc;

    So, finally, in March I purchased the MB in my sig. I'm hoping to keep it until I'm out of HS. Then, I'll probably get a MBP for university (Unless the MB is still running strong).

    Of course, I'll probably upgrade the stuff in the MB, like the RAM, HD, and maybe I'll be able to get a Blu-Ray player for it.

    I buy accessories, mainly iPods along the way. However, I do want to upgrade my d-link wireless network to Airport.

  19. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030


    Jan 10, 2007
    Bought my first Mac, a 12" Powerbook, in November 2005. Best decision I ever made. I also maxed out the memory and did a HDD swap for a 100 gig 7200 RPM drive. Coming from a PC world where I was REALLY into overclocking, building, watercooling, etc, that PB purchase was the beginning of the end for me.

    January 2008 I purchased my new Mac Pro and bought an additional 4 gigs of RAM for it. I don't foresee the need to purchase anything else, unless Apple finally wises the hell up and puts out the 12" MBP that everyone but Apple knows they should do. :rolleyes:

    Despite having an extremely powerful Mac Pro, the one thing it can't do is join me on the couch. I use my 12" PB every day. Best laptop they have ever made.
  20. GSMiller macrumors 68000


    Dec 2, 2006
    Back when I was a Windows user I would buy a new machine quite often, I owned four PC's between December 2000 and October 2006. Since switching, I plan on keeping my Macs until A) they tear up or B) they are just too outdated to use any longer (hopefully the latter). Even then, I don't know if I will be throwing them out, I may end up with my own mini-Mac museum.
  21. Macjames macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2007
    Yorkshire, England
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A102 Safari/419.3)

    I would refresh my desktop every five years ( I'm due one now and looking at getting the 24" iMac soon) but for laptops every one or 2 years.
  22. dibara2003 macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2007
    i replace my computers every 3 years or just a bit less.
  23. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    Usually every 3 years, except for the MacBook which was purchased 1.3 years after iMac, but 1 is a laptop and 2 is a desktop and I use both on daily basis so I guess that doesn't count :)
  24. aosman macrumors 6502

    Jan 19, 2008
    I replace my laptop every 2 years, my desktop every 2 years; so basically I replace either my laptop or desktop every year.
  25. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    it depends on what you mean by "new."

    I've bought 2 Macs that were never opened before, a powermac 8500 (year 1995) and a powerbook 1 ghz (year 2003?). But I've bought several cheap used Macs along the way. I bought a powerac G3 bright blue and white 350 mhz for $10 about 6 months ago, and I bought a powermac G4 400 mhz for $85 about a year ago.

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